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Judy Foreman: Grateful Clients Turn Out to Help Pioneering La Playa Pilates Mark 15 Years

Proud of how far they’ve come, owner Kristin Turner and founder Lorena Gutierrez Cheverez welcome a party atmosphere

Lorena Gutierrez Cheverez, left, is the founder of La Playa Pilates, which is now owned by Kristin Turner. The studio at 1809 E. Cabrillo Blvd. on the edge of Montecito recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. Click to view larger
Lorena Gutierrez Cheverez, left, is the founder of La Playa Pilates, which is now owned by Kristin Turner. The studio at 1809 E. Cabrillo Blvd. on the edge of Montecito recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. (Judy Foreman / Noozhawk photo via iPhone)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

La Playa Pilates, in the intimate Las Aves commercial center near Montecito, recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. Under the shade of California pepper trees and with a hint of fall in the air, clients, staff and supporters gathered to mark the occasion.

Las Aves, located at 1809 E. Cabrillo Blvd. across from the Andree Clark Bird Refuge, has become a community destination for health, beauty and wellness services. Among the practitioners in the center are Linda Sanders’ One On One Fitness, The Hair Lounge of Montecito, Dr. Ron Dinning, Adams Chiropractic Clinic, Beautiful You and Dr. James Kwako.

Kristin Turner, owner of La Playa Pilates, and Lorena Gutierrez Cheverez, the founder, welcomed a large crowd of guests, who were treated to guitar music by Chris Judge, Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio and Wild Horse Cabernet, and a beautiful selection of hors d’oeuvres from Tammy Kronen’s Kitchen & Events.

Current and former students reminisced about their years at the studio. Many of the attendees have been clients from the start and still work out together today.

The instructors were in party clothes for the affair, rather than their workout attire, and were great examples of the beneficial results that Pilates can do for your overall physical health and mobility.

Turner’s capable staff members include Alejandro Ameijeiras, Lorena Cheverez, Andrew Davis, Sara Day, Jacqueline De Longe, Katie Dorman, Colleen Ferguson, Cybil Gilbertson, Haille Hogfeldt, Erika Klouman, Kristi McIntosh, Sarah Morrow, Becca Norman, Meredith Rogers and business manager Jo Landis Shields. Also on staff are massage therapists Cybil Gilbertson and Paul Wehrman.

Among the supporters present were Margo and Jeff Barbakow, Penny Bianchi, Leslie and Jim Comis, Phyllis De Picciotto, Beverlye and Bob Fead, Shand Goldman, Ruthy and David Green, Susan Keller, Layla Khasshoggi, Larry Koppelman, Erika and Gene Montesano, Jim Nigro, Murielle Noone, Lizzie Peus, Lynn Sprecher, Caroline Thompson and Quentin Wahl.

The physical space at La Playa Pilates features high ceilings, white carpet and a beautiful tranquil environment with the most current Pilates equipment.

Before founding the studio in 1999, Cheverez studied and worked with many American pioneers of Pilates. After retiring to raise her two sons and devote herself to the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and Crane Country Day School, she recently returned to teaching part time.

Turner, the current owner and a senior trainer, first studied Pilates while living in New York City. The mom, wife and grandma is an avid traveler, and her Facebook postings are often of her “striking a pose” from some exotic location.

She’s also a biathlete and known by her clients to provide intense training, resulting in their ability to participate in the sports of their choice or just to enjoy greater flexibility and wellness in their lives.

According to Turner and Cheverez, Pilates was largely unknown to many in Santa Barbara when the studio opened. The exercise emphasizes a balanced development of the body through core strengthening, flexibility and awareness, the say.

“It is for young and old, men and women, athletes, dancers, women who are pregnant or recovering from pregnancy, or those in post rehabilitation,” Cheverez said. “All can realize the benefits of Pilates.”

David Green, 70, has been training at La Playa Pilates for five years.

“It has simply been transformative,” he told Noozhawk. “I have been an athlete all my life but never flexible and often injured.

“Under the expert guidance or La Playa’s instructors, I am stronger than I was in college, regained my youthful balance, have been injury free and move with ease. La Playa is the best full body strength, flexibility and balance program I have experienced in a lifetime of fitness training.”

La Playa Pilates and Wellness offers one-on-one, duets (two students), semi-privates, reformer and Pilates Mat classes and group classes. Click here for more information, or contact the studio at [email protected] or 805.695.0411.

— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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